I took out the basic from the hole in the wall a couple of weeks ago. When I say ‘basic’ I mean just enough to get my documentary done: a camera, a battery, a tripod and a sound kit. I haven’t quite come around to the lav mic yet. Even though I find it quite fancy, I believe it could jolly well save the day with sound issues when one is forced to be alone out in the field and can’t possibly hold the camera, boom mic and direct all at the same time. Anyways, I carried the three bags out of the college with one on either side of my shoulder, dangling like over sized hand bags as I barely managed to keep a firm grip on the third. I had to keep switching positions so that I‘d still have hands to hold the camera when I got to my destination. I huddled onto the 95 heading downtown with my new found friends and caught the 67 heading to Gatineau amidst questioning stares from fellow commuters.
I had one thing on my mind in the weeks that led to booking out the camera and its friends. Well, maybe two, but in reality I should have had one on my mind and the other on paper. I had conceptualized and basically ran the documentary from start to finish in my head. It looked fine at the time, save it had to be translated into a shooting script. The other thing weighing on my mind was how to get my subject to concede to my schedule and present himself when needed. Fast forward to my first day of shooting. It was so cold that my fingers grew numb and I could barely push a button on the camera on one of the few days my subject had so graciously afforded me the opportunity to film. As clear as my film was in my mind, I had absolutely no idea what to shoot or where to start. I guess no matter how much you’re taught, you never quite see the truth in something as clearly as you do when you experience it firsthand. This was taken care of in a timely fashion and we got cracking the next day and the day after. For the most part it was a shut up and shoot approach that got my film made; a guerilla tactic that found me holding the camera at every point in time, not because I didn’t have a plan but just because my subject had a guerilla approach to life. If I had any chance to make this film I had to play the part of a war photographer, running along from here to there.
I developed the habit of watching the previous day’s rushes and for the most part this helped me to see what worked best on the PD 170 in terms of picture composition and exposure. All said and done, I got tons of footage and I doubt the editing process will turn out any easier. I guess we’ll find out on the 18th when all of these long drawn battles will be screened.